Why It Doesn’t Pay To Lower Your Prices

Why It Doesn’t Pay To Lower Your Prices - supermarket price match

In my experience, business owners are often afraid to charge what they’re truly worth, because they think this will put off potential clients. Over the years, I have increased my prices as I have become more experienced as a coach – but every now and then, I still fall into the trap of lowering prices in one or other of my income streams, to drum up a bit of business.

The problem is that, if the people you’re targeting are novices, they don’t necessarily know what’s involved in what you’re offering, and therefore don’t understand the value. So that means you have to do more of a “sales job” to convince them that they’re getting a bargain – which might not be cost effective for you.

Price is rarely the problem

I’ve heard this argument time and time again – that, if you offer something too cheaply, people won’t trust it; and that people need to feel that the investment they make is a bit of a stretch, in order to get the most out of what’s being offered.

If you keep your prices high, then it might well put off some potential clients. But the thing to bear in mind is this: price is rarely the real reason why people don’t buy – it’s only one of four main “excuses” people give for not buying something:

  1. don’t have the money
  2. don’t have the time
  3. don’t believe it will work
  4. don’t believe it will work for me

So let’s look at each of these objections in turn.

#1 – No Money

Of course, there are times when people really don’t have the money (I’ve been there!). And I don’t hold with the notion that some so-called gurus make, that “if you needed the money enough, you would find a way to get it”.

The example they usually give is that your child is at the top of a burning building and you need to get someone to rescue him/her. However, if I were in that situation, I would be trying to work out how to get to my child myself – I wouldn’t be trying to work out how I could earn the money to get someone else to do it!

The “excuse” of having no money is an easy one for people to use – and it can be difficult to argue with, unless you’re the sort of person who would happily encourage your clients to get into debt, so that you can make the sale…

Nevertheless, it’s worth asking whether there is something non-essential that they could give up, short-term, in order to pay for the help they need.

#2 – No time

Although the same gurus would argue that “you can always make money, but you can’t make time”, my take on this is different.

Although time IS a finite commodity, you at least know how much time you have at your disposal – all the time – and it’s simply a case of prioritising and allocating your time in different ways, if you want to get a different result.

For example, I know very few people who don’t spend at least some time “blobbing out” in front of the TV in the evening – time which could be put to better use, if necessary.

Or it might be that your potential client is keeping “busy”, but not being productive, or not using the time in a way that is beneficial to them. For example, I had a client who wanted to study in the evenings, but found himself watching TV.

It turned out he had been going through a very stressful time for several months, so I suggested he allow himself that time to relax, in whatever way felt right, rather than trying to force himself to “do” more – because what he needed most, at that particular moment, was self-care.

#3 – Don’t Believe

Very simply, this comes down to your sales copy on your website, or what you say in a sales conversation. If you’re not able to convince your potential client that you can deliver what you say you can, then you will lose the sale.

Unfortunately, as introverts, this is often where we fall down.

It’s not that we’re not capable of delivering – in fact, we’re often more capable than the competition. It’s just that we feel somehow that people should be able to understand how capable we are, without us having to explain – almost by osmosis…

This is definitely where I tend to come unstuck at times!

As an introvert in business, it’s important to find a way to describe what you do in such a way that it’s clear to your potential clients – who may be complete novices (coming back to my earlier point).

So you may need to factor in enough time, in your pricing structure, to explain what you do, in intricate detail – and in a way that feels comfortable to you, rather than feeling rushed to get your point across in a shorter amount of time.

#4 – It Won’t Work For Me

This is the trickiest objection – and in my opinion, it’s the most common. Even though people might give one of the other reasons, what it boils down to is that they believe they are not capable of being helped out of whatever situation they’re stuck in – even if they know that countless others have managed it.

This is particularly true for coaching clients – but it can apply to any problem which is keeping your potential clients awake at night, and for which you are the perfect solution.

The way to get round this will depend on the situation – but it will involve patience, listening, and helping the person to understand that they ARE capable of getting past the problem, with your help. All skills that come naturally to an introvert.

It might also require on-going education – for example in the case of technical solutions where the client has no concept of what’s involved – because a well-informed client is much easier to work with than a novice.

The Price Is Right

Whatever the objection, it’s imperative that the price of your solution reflects your effort AND expertise, and factors in enough time for you to communicate with your prospective clients at length, so that they can make an informed decision to buy from you.


About the author Julia Barnickle - The Quiet EntrepreneurJulia Barnickle is a film maker, photographer, artist and writer, and the founder of The Quiet Entrepreneur community for introverts in business. She offers visibility coaching to raise your online profile, and helps you create videos to promote and deliver your services.

Follow Julia on Instagram | Youtube | Twitter | or on her website.

5 comments… add one
  • Gina Musa

    In relation to the money point, I agree with Tim that some of the figures seem on the high side, but I wonder if it depends to some extent on who you are targeting too and it’s not always about conditioning? I think too that often the ‘presenting’ reasons people give are rarely the real ones – underlying each point, might be a belief that they are not worthy of spending time or money on themselves or some kind of resistance to change.

    • Julia Barnickle

      I think you’ve raised a very relevant point, Gina – about the underlying reason possibly being a belief that they are not worthy of spending time or money on themselves. I remember one of my clients, in her testimonial, actually said that one of the lessons she learned was that she WAS worth the money she spent on coaching.
      With regard to resistance to change, that partly comes under point #4 – people often resist change either because they don’t think they have the willpower to change, or because they can’t visualise how their life will be better after they have made the necessary changes.

  • Tim Gray

    Good stuff. And well done for recognising that for many people money genuinely is tight.

    A lot of people in coaching/development bandy figures around that seem astronomical to me. That’s because my past conditioning has been all about being short of money, and I still need to be very prudent.

    It comes down to having a good awareness of your audience, and providing resources at a range of price points so people can choose their investment/benefit.

    • Julia Barnickle

      I agree, Tim. I think it’s important to value your contribution to the world, so you don’t undercharge – but as you say, a person’s perception of value depends on their conditioning around money, and also their priorities, so it’s wise to provide a range of offerings at different prices.

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